Strasburg council to discuss placing electrical lines underground in town lot

The Strasburg Town Council is set to vote on whether or not to have the town pay around $31,000 to move electrical lines in the town’s parking lot underground and remove poles from the center of the parking lot.

In a meeting of the Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, council members John Massoud, Kim Bishop and Jocelyn Vena agreed to bring the discussion of the purchase forward to a Town Council vote.

Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said that the move would be an aesthetic improvement for the town’s parking lot and that it would help limit storm damage.

Also, both the Strasburg Fire Department and the Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad use the downtown parking lot. Pearson said that removing the poles and above-ground power lines would help the emergency vehicle drivers.

“When you get the electrical lines out of the way, it’s a concern that you don’t have to worry about,” Pearson said.

The proposed change comes as the town is implementing widespread changes to the downtown parking lot as part of its community development block grant project. The town plans to finish repaving the entire lot by the end of this year’s paving season, in November, to fulfill its grant requirements.

Pearson said that the town needs to place conduit underground and remove the poles before repaving the lot, leaving a small window when the changes could take place. He said he expects Town Council to vote on the matter during its September meeting.

If the town intends to demolish the Eats Stand in the lot, Pearson has said that would also need to be done before repaving the town lot.

Town Council unanimously voted to demolish the building contingent upon approval from the Architectural Review Board and the Department of Historic Resources. The Architectural Review Board is set to vote on the matter during its meeting today, after failing to come to a consensus last week.

Pearson said the final decision on the demolition would slightly affect where the town would place the underground lines. But he said that a vote for or against the demolition would not affect whether or not the town could pursue the power line changes and that the cost would remain at around $31,000, whether or not the demolition moves forward.

“We’re barely going through the footprint of the building right now with the plan we have, so it wouldn’t be much of a change,” Pearson said.